If there was ever a time the Boston Bruins were to turn the page on a game, it would be on Easter Sunday in front of a nationally televised audience against the Detroit Red Wings.
The Bruins aren’t strangers to trailing 1-0. Just look at the 2011 Stanley Cup team: the same squad that dropped the first game of the series against the Canadiens, Lightning and Canucks. They know as good as anyone that the playoffs are a marathon, not a sprint. It’s the first to four not the team that wins Game 1.
Sure, the B’s were missing the likes of Daniel Paille, a speedster on the fourth line, Chris Kelly, a player who brings leadership and grit on both sides of the puck, Kevan Miller, a physical specimen and Matt Bartkowski, who really came into his own this year. But the team wasn’t making excuses. Jordan Caron, Justin Florek, Corey Potter and Andrej Meszaros really filled in nicely and it was just one bad bounce of the puck that left the Red Wings gaining the momentum heading into Game 2.
The B’s had not lost more than three consecutive games at any point during the 2013-14 season so by losing Game 1, they are not going to panic. They will regroup and stick to their system which earned them the top overall seed. It is a veteran group and a team that has been together for some time now and knows what it takes to bounce back especially versus a worthy opponent like the Red Wings.
“We’ve just got to build off Game 1 and then do a little more work in the offensive zone, do a little more fore-checking,” Florek said after his playoff debut Friday night. “But they’re a veteran group, like you said, and we’ll be back at it on Sunday.”
Another player who got the call for Game one was newly acquired Andrej Mezsaros who believes there really isn’t a lot of pressure for his team to win Game 2.
“It’s a long series,” Meszaros said. “It’s a seven game series so we’re going to go out there, we’re going to play our game-plus score some goals, obviously. We’re going to be fine.”
Captain Zdeno Chara knew what his team was going to be in for playing against a well-coached team like the Red Wings and knows his team will come out with great intensity on Sunday afternoon.
“I mean, it’s the first game,” Chara said. “We’ve got a day tomorrow, we’ve got to do our best to regroup and get ready for the next game.”
Head coach Claude Julien knows his team better than anyone on the planet and knows the mood of the team is fine after losing a heart-breaker on Friday night.
Don’t think for one second the Red Wings are going to bask in the glory of winning Game 1. They will turn the page as well as Pavel Datsyuk said after his team’s 1-0 win.
“But you know it’s Game 1 or Game 2, it’s home crowd and I mean just forget about this one and just keep going to the next game and we know they come back more aggressive,” said Datsyuk, the Game 1 hero.
It was an evenly matched game. The Red Wings gave the Bruins little room to operate, but that’s why team’s have days off in between to adjust. There is no sense of panic in the B’s dressing room and why should there be? This is a team that came from behind to score three goals against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the last 10 minutes to tie the game and eventually win in overtime in an elimination game.
It’s only Game 2 tomorrow at the Garden. The Bruins are relaxed and ready to go.